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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chugga, Chugga Chugga

By the time BOS Chairman Bruce Gibson was finished listening to the appellant and general public input at the permit hearing for the Hideous Los Osos Sewer Project, I was struck by how quickly he turned into Chairperson Sarah Christie of the Planning Commission.

After reading the staff report and proposal, Christie must have rolled her eyes something fierce and muttered, Oh really, after spending all those millions of Los Osians’ nice assessment money, this sucky spray fields idea is the best they could come up with? And then took the county staff, their sucky proposal and “her” board by the scruff of the neck and frog marched them straight into the new! improved! strong water conservation, ag exchange, water-in-basin, Giacomazzi property plan. And if any of her Commissioners snorted and skittered about looking like they might jump their traces, a quick snap of the snaffle bit –chink! chink!—and she had them quickly settled down and pulling the project wagon exactly where she intended to take it. It was beautiful to see.

And now here was Gibson, prepared outline (and reins) in hand, heading his fellow Sups swiftly along the path he intended them to take. And if there was any whinny or wither-shivvering -- ka-chink! ka-chink! – Gibson would snap that snaffle bit and they’d settle back in line.

‘splaining a blue streak for the audience, his fellow board members and by that hour of the evening, the record, Gibson firmly guided discussion. Gravity? Check! No, no problems with Broderson, the planning commission’s thinking on that’s just fine. Mitigation? Not a problems? The EIR’s got it all covered. No worries. Giacomazzi? Check! Treatment system as written? Check! Sludge? No problem. Salt water intrusion? We’re on it! The Planning Commission’s plan has nailed it just fine. The annoying, nit-picking appellants we’ve had to listed to all day have had their say. Nothing to see there, move along, move along. Our staff tells us we’ve got all bases covered splendidly! See, it’s all right here in their EIR. Time to get cracking.

Appeals denied 5-0. Project permit approved! Now, on to the Coastal Commission, Yippee-Ki-Yi!

Some random notes along the way:

According to the RWQCB, any “leaks” from the traditional, gravity cap & bell sewer pipes will likely be minimal and is that’s O.K. with them. This from the same people who brought you The Criminal Los Osos 45 who find their criminal septic tank only remains criminal if they still own the property. Once they sell their homes and move away, the septic tank that remains behind and the new owners using it and “discharging” and polluting the groundwater of the state of California, are suddenly transformed into non-criminals, no CDO, no problem. It’s one of those Los Osos “miracles.”

A goodly number of “Dreamers” and TPWers have weirdly gotten themselves stuck in a puzzling delusion. I repeatedly heard them say the project should be moved back to Tri-W because Tri-W is “fully permitted.” Uh, there is no “permit” on Tri-W. The original ginned up SOC was rescinded and the permit was allowed to lapse by all parties, including the Coastal Commission. Were the project to be put on Tri-W, the whole permit process would have to start from scratch and a new SOC would have to be filed saying that there is NO alternative non-ESHA sites available, which clearly isn’t now and never was the case. Somebody should break the news to these folks, but do it gently, please.

Steve Paige had some interesting comments. The property tax State deferral program for seniors is kaput, so any lien put on their homes (sewer assessment) will result in those homes gong immediately ito default, which means they can be seized for non-payment.(since the State’s deferral program is kaput.)

Also, interestingly, septic tanks are property and expensive property at that, all legal and properly permitted by the county and RWQCB. If they’re now “condemned” and shut down without just compensation for their loss and without a proper hearing, that constitutes a government “taking” since there has been no proper hearing and the owners will not be compensated for the loss of a privately owned, legally permitted, expensive device. Basis for a class action lawsuit? According to Steve, yes,

Supervisor Gibson single-handedly took STEP off the table by claiming the county already had Mongomery Watson Harza’s original in-the-ground plans so they’d save $ on the redesign and they could claim they were “shovel ready” for stimulus funds that didn’t pan out. Yet STEP never got put back on the table. So much for the promise to allowing both systems to duke it out through the design-build-bid process.

This becomes interesting in light of Andrew Christie’s (Sierra Club, an appellant) remarks: He told the BOS that the Sierra club would withdraw all their objections and appeals to the Coastal Commission if the BOS would put STEP back on the table and allow it to continue on to the bid process so that the community could finally get real time, real life, real hard numbers. He pointed out that nobody on the staff or Corollo Engineering or the Water Board had any real life experience with STEP so their numbers were, at best, guestimates and the BOS really needed to get testimony and numbers from some real experts in STEP, with real experience with STEP.

That suggestion went nowhere, of course. So the community will never know what the real cost savings with a hard-bid STEP system would have been. But that’s o.k. with the community. While even the staff’s numbers did show STEP as being cheaper, 1/3 of the town didn’t care enough one way or the other to return the Community Survey and the other 1/3 wanted gravity and would stick with gravity unless it could save them more than $30 a month. So, 2/3rds of the community wanted to pay more for their system, so that’s exactly what they’ll get.

The front-loaded $5 million water conservation efforts (retrofit toilets in every home, using the money to reimburse homeowners for the retrofit if they do it within the first year of the project & etc.) got muddled and wandered off the field a bit. The BOS and Paavo started in on their usual mantra about working on a conservation program, which in this county means something will get done, oh, let’s see. . . um. . . never. Planning Commissioner Wyatt came to the podium to try to make the BOS understand that the nexus for that $5 mil was immediate water reduction as part of the reduced flow the sewer system was now designed to handle and it was time sensitive since it was also designed to slow salt water intrusion NOW, not into some vague future. She also wanted to amend the original condition to give it less specificity and allow more flexibility to include commercial establishments & etc. So the Supervisors muddled around with the language and it’s not clear whether the emphasis remains on the up-frontness of the idea. Clearly, all homes must show proof of having high efficiency toilets and retrofit showerheads & etc. before they can hook up to the sewer. But it isn’t clear whether the details of the rebate/financial incentive program will have to come back later for hammering out. So, if there are delays in this project, there’ll be delays in water reduction, which means MORE salt water intrusion, the stopping of which should be the absolute #1 priority.

The most interesting question, of course, is why STEP wasn’t allowed – as promised – to compete head to head with gravity. I mean, it wasn’t as if several systems with hard, real-time bids came back and STEP lost on various counts. It wasn’t allowed to compete in the first place. So, what was the real fear preventing that from happening? After all, if the Process had been allowed to proceed as promised and as it should have proceeded, either STEP would fall away as being too expensive or being environmentally unsound or something. Or it would come in way cheaper and the community or the BOS could then decide to accept or reject it on whatever basis. Or it would be there to “keep gravity” honest, much like the “public option” is being touted as being necessary to keep private health insurance plans “honest.” But it wasn’t allowed on the table to even compete. Why? What was the BOS and county afraid of ? (C’mon, honest answer here, please.)

People holding undeveloped property in the PZ who are under the impression that once the sewer gets built they’ll finally be able to build their dream homes and hook up and live happily ever after are gonna be in for a rude shock. No building, no hook up until the Habitat Conservation Plan, the Estero Bay Plan and the Watershed Basin plan are updated and the water basin is shown to be in balance. When all that happens is not known. Weirdly, people outside the PZ are free to build and use water to their heart’s content, thereby helping to deplete the water while those inside the PZ are SOL, thanks to RWQCB.

The new CAO, Mr. Jim Grant was given the microphone to alert the audience and listening audience of the earthquake in Samoa and to warn of a possible 2-foot tsunami heading for the central coast so nobody should run down to Morro Rock at 9 pm. last night to stand on the rocks to watch.

And, finally, Supervisor Meacham asked Mark Hutchinson why the sewer plant can’t be put back on Tri-W and Mr. Hutchinson said that in today’s world, Tri-W would be $24 million more than the Giacomazzi site, to which someone in the audience said, “Imagine that,” no doubt rolling his eyes as well. $24 million more to build today? I guess “out of town” really is waaaaayyyyy cheaper? Well, well.

Next up, the Coastal Commisison. In their early-on warning-shot-across-the-bow letter, they listed several issues they were “concerned” with. So far, I think their sludge concerns may still be a sticking point. According to Mark Hutchinson, ponds that would eliminate more sludge weren’t recommended due to the specific site size restrictions and Los Osos weather that can be problematic. But we’ll have to see. The Coastal Commissioners may figure two out of three is about the best they’ll get and better than nothing.

And we’ll all have to now set up the betting pool: Who will be the first person/acronym/group to file a lawsuit? Hey, it wouldn’t be The Hideous Los Osos Sewer Project without a lawsuit.

Yippie-ki-yi . . . .

82 comments:

Ron said...

Wow, was I right.

Holy crap, was I right!

In Three Blocks (in 2004!) I first showed how the only reason Tri-W was selected was because of something the 2000 LOCSD called "Community Acceptance" (oh, the irony!).

Then, I showed how the 2000 LOCSD's idea of "Community Acceptance" was completely inaccurate -- they said that the "community" would only "accept" a sewer plant in the middle of town, because that "community" insisted on an elaborate, multi-million dollar park in their sewer plant, and they wanted to be able to easily access that park, so it HAD to go in the middle of town. (Wow. What a lie... and they told it to the Coastal Commission... wow.)

Then, in that same 2004 story, I asked, what would happen if that fake "Community Acceptance" was taken out of the equation -- which location for the sewer plant would come out on top?

In Three Blocks, I wrote:

"... redo the model that originally ranked the site locations - the rankings that made Tri-W No. 1 - but this time get rid of that ridiculous (by all credible accounts) park element, divide that criteria's points proportional to the other criteria, and then simply spit out the rankings again.

Does Tri-W still come out No. 1?
"

Five years (and millions and millions of dollars) later, I now, officially, have my answer:

No. It does not.

In fact, WITHOUT that fake "Community Acceptance," Tri-W is "socially infeasible," and waaaaaaaay more expensive, just like I also wrote (in JUNE 2005!): that was a $30 million park.

What a friggin' joke.

So, now I have to ask: Where's the outrage?

Or, is this how things now work in America -- waste some $25 million and six years developing an illegal, technological embarrassment, and when that mess is OFFICIALLY exposed to be an embarrassment, just pretend like that six years and $25 million never happened, and just "move forward?"

I'm want to go on record as saying, I don't approve of running a Democracy that way.

I'm a fan of accountability.

Wow, was I right.

"It is not necessary to bury the truth. It is sufficient merely to delay it until nobody cares."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte

Not2010Yet said...

Well, let the gloating by the sewer obstructionists and all the others begin. Tri-W looks forever dead, Christie (husband and conflict of interest wife) and company have emboldened the Coastal Commission just as I predicted, and the whole thing is going to be a mess. It will take torch-bearing mobs at the CCC to change their mind, and such conduct is illegal.

While it's true sewer obstructionist and expert whack-o people plunged the town into years of bitter debate and blocked dreams, and it's true that they've destroyed hundreds of millions in value when our duplicate properties are compared with Morro Bay homes, it is also true that they've just extended their power and disastrous influence for a bunch more years. Don't bother listing your home, not while this bit of uncertainy hangs over the town, you are looking at 12-14 years from the date that Schicker, Tacker, Senet, Fouche and Cesena did the most observably- disastrous bit of municipal malfeasance of any special district in Calif.

Nope, affordability, buildability, American values such as home growth and quiet enjoyment of your property have been violated in a very uncomfortable orifice once again, this time by your most recent sent-by-God enemies, Planning Commissioner Christie and her equally-biased against growth and property enjoyment husband, Andrew.

Meantime, Ron has become a self-contained unit: write his own stuff, defend it incessantly, then throw his shoulder out of whack patting himself on the back. Trouble is, their hideous changes and delay and shutdown of Tri-W, and now this boatload of crap (to borrow Ron's term) changed the economic fortunes of Los Osos homeowners and investors by an order of magnitude AT LEAST, perhaps nearly two, over the few paltry millions Ron says the study wasted. Just do the math.

Guess that's it, folks, the loonies won another round, we won a small skirmish over the STEP thing, but the hundreds of millions lost in home sale value could have been taxed at sale time by 2% and the greatest solar-fired desalter built for MUCH LESS in out of pocket homeowner cost than the loonies who are today, I suspect, patting themselves on the back while bemoaning they didn't get to force tanks and alarms on us.

They'll be back, for the tanks, in front of the Coastal Commission.

And you thought this was America where YOU decided, within limits, the use of your property and wealth. Sarah Christie and the Sierra Club have other sent-from-on-high ideas and right about now, they're looking victorious to me.

FOGSWAMP said...

Ron

"Where is the outrage?" Let townfolk digest it a while.

"MOVE THE SEWER'
That sign was proudly posted in the front yards of many homes for many years in Los Osos by us folk whom objected loudly from the very onset to the TriW location.

Contrary to the spin by the rejected board folk, to justify their poor choice, that the location was not objected to "prior" to the purchase. It was in fact objected to, but the board was as deaf as the stoneheads of Easter Island to the messages.

In my view, at that point in time they had panicked because their so-called "plan" had fallen apart and they were being pressured by Briggs & Co. From then on they essentially had become puppets' of the State and made a poor choice in their rush to please their new masters.

I'm sure Stan Gustafason will never forget the very long nose to nose, toes to toes, almost to blows, confrontation that took place, "prior" to the purchase of TriW in the CSD parking lot by two or three Los Osos businessmen and Melanes.

He just wouldn't listen to any reasoning about an out of town location and became red-faced- enraged to the degree of
Al Barrow's worst performance, blurting out that he was an attorney and also was once a helecopter pilot in the last war etc.!!!!... whatever the hell that had to do with the subject matter.

The location was a big time affront to the downwind business section of town, however the town was so electrified by then that should a business-owner want to remain in business, what the hell could you say that wouldn't offend someone. Many of us had long time employees that had families to support but we had to remain silent lest we loose business and have to lay them off. Although our long-time baker did speak up at a meeting, the brave soul.

I commend Bruce Gibson and his staff for recognizing that aspect and the social outcry and also thank him for the much needed storm drain just installed that was ignored by some prior Supervisors.

I guess Barbara Wolcott jumped the gun a bit with her book, the so-called UltraOppositionists have switched sides, have they not?

Score one big one for RON, eh

Watershed Mark said...

Too bad the county didn't/doesn't review vacuum in the $7MM study of alternatives.
All the cost and footprint advantages and none of the easement and on-lot impacts of STEP/STEG makes that particular technology exceedingly appropriate for the LOSTDEP.

Hearing Hutchinson extol the virtue of small/shallow trenching of the on lot portion of gravity I wondered why (not really) he couldn’t understand how small/shallow trenching as would be used for vacuum collection would be a better solution than 20 “+ deep wide trenches and 22 “even deeper” lift stations as a technology solution that could cost and impact the environment less.

I guess what he didn’t study he doesn’t know, which doesn’t hurt him while you all pay for it.
Remember, the governments are broke.

Watershed Mark said...

FOGSWAMP:
I love your Easter Island tone deaf analogy. It's PRICELESS!

It's your supervisor's job to repair the streets and handle improperly or under designed storm runoff systems.

You must not forget that Hutchinson is working on the storm sewer which will be the next county public works project currently simmering on the back burner.

Why the BOS aren't more sensitive to the overall needs of the community isn't logical, if their mission is to deliver sustainable sevices.

Why not not review technology that would deliver a leak proof project with money and space left over to address storm water collection, the next wave of funding need?

Sewertoons said...

I'm unclear how Tri-W could be $24 million more than the Giacomazzi site - as the Tri-W project was over bid by 40% according to many reports. The bidding climate is favorable NOW and the Giacomazzi site is said to be $165 million NOW, and we haven't even begun to trash the timeline with the lawsuits yet to jack up the price.

That Tri-W a hot potato I get, and that they wouldn't want to go there I get - that's fine, but by not going back to Tonini, I fear that we are just looking at another long wait if they cannot make appeasements to the Bear Valley residents and the cemetery corporation. It will be interesting to see how they calm these people down. They are very reasonable people, so there is a chance that this won't explode at all and we can keep on schedule.

I wonder what the No Sewer people CAN do now to stop this. We can expect to see a boatload of them at the Coastal Commission hearing I'm sure.

Andrew Christie threatened the BOS, they didn't take the bait, and it will be interesting to see if the "Sierra Club Mothership" will foot the bill for the delays his idea will generate - which will ruin our groundwater and aquifers further.

Bruce Gibson formally asked both the Surfrider rep. and Christie in rather formal sounding language if they still stood by the statements in their appeals. - and both said yes. That sounded to me like the basis of something legal, and it is on record.

All in all, even though I didn't get what I wanted, I am soberly happy and hopeful that we have gotten this far - another GIANT STRIDE forward. (Just couldn't use that word "step" there.)

I have to hand it to Bruce - it was such a well run meeting - that part, despite the 9:00am to 10:00pm duration - was truly awesome. Hey - they got this done in ONE DAY! And no one exploded even though there was a photographer there to capture that event should it have happened.


PS Not2010Yet, Andrew is her brother.

Sewertoons said...

ron, maybe you can address the unhappiness of the Bear Valley group and the cemetery corporation - they should be overjoyed that the project has now been moved to their backyard? The fact that they were not asked and cannot hook-up? Can you now whip up some justifications for outrage and hoodwinking for those folks to gnaw on? Or don't they count?

Oh, and you never answered us on your opinion that they want a park out there to go with OUR sewer plant.

Mike said...

The $24 million more than the Giacomazzi site (than the Tri-W site) figure is certainly being questioned, especially since we already own the Tri-W site...

...is Giacomazzi going to "give" their land to the County...???

Oh well, I'm pleased the BOS took a stand and eliminated the sideshow... oh sorry Ann, they eliminated the unacceptable half of the chinese menu...

As for Ron and his "I'm a fan of accountability."....guess what Ronnie, we're all fans of accountability... like why hasn't Ann paid her portion of the PZLDF lawsuit she is a signature to...???

Watershed Mark said...

MIKE little mouse,

Technology seection makes a big price difference.
Of course if you actually had any real knowledge you might understand the costs associated of designing and building the system that "was"planned for T-W and the Ox ditch or BIo'Lac(tm) planned for outside the PZ.

Of course if you need me to explain it to you I'll have to through my prefered technology in:

From: Mark Low [mailto:mark@nowastewater.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 7:11 PM
To: BGibson@co.slo.ca.us
Cc: 'jbishop@coastal.ca.gov'; pogren@co.slo.ca.us; John Waddell; Mark Hutchinson; 'LOWWP@co.slo.ca.us'; Karl Hadler; Lou Carella; Mark Low
Subject: LOWWP, cost, odor, visual ,footprint, mitigation with tertiary treatment and low energy use technology
Importance: High


Greetings Chairman Gibson,

After hearing that you and your board is still wrestling with mitigation issues associated with treatment, odor, cost, footprint, visual, AB32 and in support of your wastewater treatment solution efforts for Los Osos/Baywood Park, I respectfully offer a very economical and energy efficient technology that is reliable and simple to operate, please see attached.

Attached for your review and consideration is a generic proposal for a 1MGD ECOfluid USBF Membrane Bioreactor Title 22 Water Reclamation Facility.

A close review of our treatment technology will reveal many advantages over the other treatment technologies your study process included.
These advantages include, but are not limited to, reduced footprint, reduced energy consumption, no odor, reduced sludge production, reduced capital and O&M costs.

The cost range is $6,900,000.00 for a Micro Screen option and $7,400,000.00 for the Membrane option, both include a 30% design, engineering and contingency.

The one factor that significantly contributes to operating simplicity and reduces operating and maintenance needs and costs, is the all gravity process flow. Pumped once from the equalization tank into the bioreactors, the entire flow through the process (biology, filtration and UV disinfection) is by gravity. Gravity and hydraulic action are forces of nature and is energy which is free of charge.

Of course any size (GPD) facility for any strength influent can be designed upon request.

The attached Nitrogen Reduction Memorandum should be of particular interest to those interested in solving Nitrogen loading problems.

ECOfluid President, Karel Galland and I are available to discuss in detail this generic proposal and how a site specific proposal can be developed for your project.

Time and money are precious, so we won’t waste any and know that you will want to give us your best consideration so we look forward to hearing from you soon.


Kind regards,


Mark Low
602.740.7975 voice
480.464.0405 facsimile
Mark@NOwastewater.com
P.O. Box 1355 Mesa, Arizona 85211
Spero Meliora "I aspire to greater things"
www.ECOfluid.com

Let me know. I'll be happy to go over it with ya'.

Watershed Mark said...

Technology selection makes a big price difference.

Consider the cost difference between vacuum and conventional gravity, if you are able.

Aaron said...

I like when the same people who berate Lisa Schicker keep saying that Andrew Christie's sister, has a "conflict of interest" without evidence -- and (gasp!) the accusation is exclusively their opinion.

American values, Not2010...? Spare us.

Not2010Yet said...

Regarding a "conflict of interest", I "opine" that any familial interconnection between a member of one of the most anti-growth, biased, focused, litigious organizations in the country AND a blasted Planning Commission member/leader who has his/their hand(s) on the throttle of quality of life and economic development in our county, "conflicts" proximately with the interests of the SLO general public, those who would enjoy and live here, and particularly, it conflicts with MY interests. A substantial portion of my modest means is a portion tied up in real estate here. Christie has, I opine, single handedly raised this from a "we gotta let this get built fast" attitude at the Coastal Commission to "oh boy, open season again on Los Osos and whatever extreme requirements/delays/costs/disasters we can force upon Los Osos and it's property owners."

Perhaps, however, I was being a bit careless in my earlier post; maybe we just have NOT had enough sewer circus yet, haven't seen enough of what someone delightfully and APTLY called the trolls, fat ladies, overage cheerleaders and other delightful terms? Perhaps we could all use MORE grief, perhaps the Coastal Commission will put regulated water meters on us which SHUT OFF once our precious 64 gallon a day use has been allowed, order us to rip out our meager already small Cuesta front lawns and put in gravel and other lovely "xeriscape" (which my entire back yard already happens to be), and even have us put waterless stinky urinals in all our bathrooms, perhaps a gender detector in case males don't use exclusively the stand up waterless jobs. Gee, they could put all sorts of nifty social controls on our life style. Just ask the folks with vacant lots and decades of dashed hopes about what the government can do. Pacific Legal Foundation, save us! Lord, what fools these Los Osos mortals be.....

Aaron said...

I have a few words to write about the meeting -- so I'll save the best for the upcoming article.

I said to Maria Kelly back in October last year that we live in such a small town and a relatively small county, that we're bound to know someone or -- if we have family rooted in the County culture -- we're related to someone whose occupation collides with an interest that appeals to us.

Though they are siblings, Andrew went one way and Sarah went another. Being siblings, they didn't exactly push STEP/STEG through -- and in the end, STEP/STEG didn't make it back. This is fact.

Sewertoons said...

Sarah only went another because the other commissioners loudly said NO. Guess you weren't there! She is pro-STEP!

Let's see if Surfrider, Sierra Club and the Sustainability Group sue over no STEP/STEG.

Alon Perlman said...

Hi 2010 and counting.
Sarah Christie, did her job in respect to the fact that the REGULATORY AGENCIES, Commented on the EIR, and the Coastal Commission (staff) Commenting on the CDP and EIR did not find the County Staff preffered project to be preferred. Pretending that the Agency that can lock up the keys to the parking lots and exits, doesn't exist, would had caused even further delays. The CCC is that Agency, and Ladies clearing their throats, Elephants rampaging and peanut galleries catching fire, in the main ring or even in the side freak shows, have very little bearing on when this saga ends.
Take note of the County's Agricultural representative comments about Tonini NOT being Co-Equal, and Giacomazzi being Superior on all counts.
(And I think I was the first individual (or Organization ) to note in a public meeting that Tonini would have applied secondary wastes to CLASS 2 Soils (Prime) so maybe I know of whence I spake)
It is unlikely that Supervisor Gibson would had gone along with the Planning Commissions recomendations otherwise. Sarah did try to include STEP, and the straw poll of the other commissioners did show that in spite of the benefit/encumberance of a knowledgeable strong Chair they held on to their own preceived responsibilities. Kudo's to all. Thanks Also to Commissioner Whyats appearence (though her explanation of the 5 million, gave me the case of the willies- I thought when first hearing it that it could give cause for the amount to be reduced.
I do hope the conservation element is conserved, and more importantly; affectively implemented. It is appropriate that it came under discussion, at the Sups, yestiday.

As for me, With the caveat that STEP was short sheeted on day one of TAC Camp (and really could not had made the distance up therafter, not enough steam. and vacume was denied a fair shakie ,and partly due to diversion of STEP support as the ONLY alternative)


Given all that, I think it may be possible that.....
Wait for it...

Los Osos is about to get the best available Sewer under the circumstances.
And the Aquifer is pretty close to being toast. And a no project CEQA alternative at this point, would jepordize the aquifer.
We are under a non moratoriumized Level III Severity, some of the things you fear may come true- The clear gold is getting scarce-Consequence of living in tough times.
I do hope your modest equity remains or increases. but if you take action now and perhaps even look towards 50 GPD living, you may not have to feel governmint's rough hand helping you shake out those last few drops.

Hmm.. Second attempt word verification; worstles

Sewertoons said...

Alon, if you have any influence, please keep the STEP people from suing.

Tonini could have been conditioned the way Giacomazzi was, no sprayfields and tertiary. And if unforeseen cultural resources are found on Giacomazzi - off they go - as there isn't enough room to change the plant design on that piece of property.

Watershed Mark said...

Alon wrote: vacume was denied a fair shakie ,and partly due to diversion of STEP support as the ONLY alternative

Your keen observation does not excuse the lack of study om the county's part.
$7MM dollars should have yeilded a quick/cursory review of the community collection portion of a STEP/STAG system.

For some reason ($$$) the county seems hell bent on a deep dig, energy intensive construction project.

Watershed Mark said...

Just remove the septic tank from the STEP/STEG and viola- costs, energy useage, environmental issues, construction nightmare all mitigated!

Why is that so hard to understaand?

Aaron said...

Adding to what Alon said, even though she's pro-STEP, Sarah didn't try to undermine the straw vote. She did ask for it again after the initial straw vote but she went along with the decision.

I believe STEP/STEG died a long time ago -- even before the formation of TAC. When I asked Paavo at office hours, "When did you first realize you [the County] preferred gravity?" and he said that even Noel King pushing for it. Paavo said STEP/STEG wasn't even in the initial scope of project scenarios.

It's not fair to tell people to not sue when you're part of lawsuits that put the district and former district officials at a financial disadvantage. Do I personally think those organizations should sue? No, unless they have an argument that serves as a proper and full rebuttal to County staff analysis.

Lynette asked me a while back about the things I like about the County process. I'll answer that now and I'll put the answer in bold. I like the project as it stands and I approve the way the BOS moved forward with gravity at Giacomazzi, however I think the County should take note of the Bear Valley Land Stewardship Alliance appeal. There are some issues that definitely need to be addressed regarding conflicts with the Department of Agriculture's policies.

Urging to go back to Tri-W is moving backwards and STEP/STEG supporters need to to address the County's arguments against the system point-by-point without recycling the same arguments over and over again.

Sewertoons said...

Aaron, the former district officials are getting their case paid for by the insurance company. I'd think by now that they might be running out of patience, this seems to be taking forever.

I'm happy to see your in-bold sentence above.

Tri-W may be gone, but it was definitely a project that would have worked, and in doing so, saved the water supply a lot sooner than what we are hopefully going to get.

Maybe there aren't any more arguments for STEP/STEG?

Alon Perlman said...

Influence? Easier to influence the technical oriented staff of the Waterboard or County
There are only a very few Pure STEP people.
Some have bought onto the whole package
Most of the movers and shakers are operating on personal agendas, some are even aware they are.
Including the Cult of Personality.
Watch out for the money generating activities, that's what feeds the lawyers.
Controversy? look at what actions mobilized the base in the past. It starts to make sense if you look for the fear and mistrust- Fear tactics? who is the expert manipulator? who is the tool? Who is the sacrificial lambgoat, who is the lightning rod? What about the timing?
The bonfire of the vanities must play out,
and with the addition of new people you get more fuel.

Steven Paige - Independent thinker, solid.

Not2010 yet, word verification; Baboom.
Youse unnerstan I meant no disrespeck.
OK scrap that, but what I meant was to keep the regulatory agency order and process elements straight in practice. Your views are shared by many people. There is a down side to some of the environmental activities, but in some respect; the dance between private rights and the good (?) of the many (defined by whom? not me). That dance is not quite over but it is heading there, due to diminishing resources, final frontier aint here no mo, rather than "Socialism" per se.

Without sprayfields Tonini makes even less sense.
Giacomazzi? willing seller. (plus 10 acres would help (BUY, beg, borrow, steal or eminent domain)).
I did point out to the commission that ponds on the property make sense in order to have both reserve capacity for water reuse and to have emergency capacity for spills - I wasn't as elegant as all that but I was going for what Mark Hutchinson said at the Sups meeting.

Wmark- If you detach the septic tank from the step system, How do the flows enter the collection system?- Just Kidding! Sure, and the concrete coffins already in most PZ peoples yards could either pass or fail an integrity test. but for reasons that made sense at the time the Ripley report didn't go there.
STEP was hobbled early on, and I'm not so sure some of it's proponents didn't turn people against it.
by the time the EIR waz wrote the writing was on the website.
There is a lot wrong with how the County (pretending for the moment that staff and government are not separate entities) approached the issues including; not looking forward to the Coastal commission earlier, not starting with a Comprehensive pre-survey, not putting alternates on equal footing for the early stages, but for the most part, the County was responsive and did act according to their perception of what Los Ossans wanted. They did move it out of the URL, even out of the watershed (aquifer recharge part). They were very concerned with the 218 passage, so they priced the project without Tertiary. (Silly County, Terits are for Kids).

Why ask why?
Drain the Aquifer dry


I said a few things in 3 minutes public comment. Didn't get to- Fused Large Diameter pipes are inflexible and may fail at the join faster than gasketed (bell and spigot) and gee.. I forgot to mention-
The Aquifer is at the Tipping point. If a hydrodynamic solution is not Applied to the Salt front -Overpumping deficit interface area, within the next 3-5 years, the aquifer will be reduced to function as the reserve (secondary water source) to the Los Osos imported water program.
Oh well, that's just MY opinion.

Train Wreck?
In a perverse way I kinda liked the County's boldness- Getting Into Ranching in a big way
Yippee Kay yay or Whoa Whoa whoop yee- haaa

Aaron said...

Lynette,

Here's some advice. If you want to talk about having people drop their lawsuits, do the following:

Drop the lawsuits. I know there's a cause of action, I know the damage that's been caused... but now that the process is taking off at a relatively good speed, going after the officials becomes less and less relevant to the ongoing situation.

You once said you'd drop the lawsuits if you got an apology from Julie or Lisa. You won't get an apology. Not a lot of people in this wonderful town of ours will not admit they were wrong even when you're right.

My problem with Giacomazzi is the idea of having an non-ag project being constructed on prime ag land and since agriculture happens to be the leading (probably only) industry in Los Osos Valley, that could disrupt the ag system. Tonini also faces the same problem... then Mid-Town is there with no ag land; the land there is already converted and disturbed.

I admit that I have ZERO expertise on ag laws and policy, but since ag reuse has been the leading reason for going with Giacomazzi, I can't help but to look into that.

Alon Perlman said...

Word verification; protorte
I'm not for anybody suing anybody.
Since I just read Aaron's-last, Yes Noel King was the Head of public works, Gravity was also king, He interviewed me for the environmental TAC team. During which, I also said "I am a Move the sewer supporter but if you guys can drop it into Tri-W for a hundred bucks (we all knew 100 mil.) I'll back it all the way" at which point he said to the effect "Some people in Los Osos don't seem to understand that Los Osos will get to choose it's own Sewer" Or did he say "Own Sewer location"?
Details schmitails...
Ditto to tooncers' Nicely gone boldly BTW
and this time before posting I did read your 2nd response Aaron _ See the part from the Ag representative in my first set of comments here and in the meeting recording during the board discussion about 7 pm in real time re superiority of G over T re less Ag impacts

Aaron said...

Very informative, Alon. Thank you! Just checked the video.

I must have glossed that part of the comments made by the Ag representative. Good thing I managed to catch that now!

Who do you think Corelitz talked to in the Ag Department -- assuming that he actually contacted them? There seems to be some confusion on Corelitz's end.

Not2010Yet said...

Dad burn it, Perlman, you write some good stuff sometimes. And you possibly correctly perceive me with your taunting first sentence, sort of a mixture of a flag waving green-thumbed red-necked guy over watering his front lawn while having made certain of low flow devices and seriously xeriscape backyard (nothing to water with bricks and volcanic decorative gravel)all within months of buying the house. Oh, and I kept one PGE transformer from ever going into service with a solar installation, do you know what an idling pole-pig (lingo for step down utility transformer) wastes just sitting there on it's own, humming away?

Yep, I might leave my suburban parked even though I had a company gas card for 20 years and elect to drive a boring small compact, have achieved water conservation most could only dream of, however it was all voluntary sensible stuff, I don't like waste either, but dad burn it (switch back to red-neck green-thumb mode) I WILL lower my blood pressure by happily watering the kapok out of my lush verdant green postage stamp sized front lawn, whistling the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" with an american flag doo-rag on my head. I'll AIM for your 50 gallons/day (my current approximate diet soda consumption) but I'll be damned if some bureaucrat or failed district director or water agency pro wants me to water my lawn or wash my car with an eyedropper.

The solution to my rant? Build the fastest most sensible conventional location down-slope gravity fed thing. OK, I lost out on some of that. And by the way, who CARES if a few tiny acres out of THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of Class II soils go to a water recycling project? We will all pay for pumping over the hydraulic gradient to either east site. We will all be treated to about 3 years of lawsuits and resolution (and healthy lawyer-like expense)when we could have, right now, been hooked up.

Word verification baboom? This baboom can write four letters after his name. Not J-E-R-K by the way but all right, some times that's deserved. Richly deserved. The baboom also agrees with you to keep the reg. process in order, however I would not define the SLO PC process as "orderly". Revving up the CCC extreme elements was the grandest disservice to this basin since the LOCSD5 shut down a project that could right now be preventing pollution, and be awaiting RO treatment for beneficial local reuse. Oh, and as for the salt, we're not unique. Mobile desalters put bad wells back on line, barrier injection is practiced all over the place, drill some holes and let water run by gravity into them, study L.A. and Orange county for info.

Alon Perlman said...

Didn't Get that, need to review it myself, Tomorrow is another day, Ta Ta for now

Alon Perlman said...

Sorry 2010 your comment deserves a careful read. Ba bom more like Badabing
previous comment 12:05 am was for Aaron, TTFN to you too.

Sewertoons said...

Nice writing above posters, Aaron, Alon, Not2010Yet!

I found a fun quote in reading tonight. It is out of the Tom Friedman book, The World Is Flat. He is talking about how, "People don't change when you tell them they should. They change when they tell themselves they must." He quotes Johns Hopkins foreign affairs professor Michael Mandelbaum, "People don't change when you tell them there is a better option. They change when they conclude that they have no other option." They were both talking about oil prices, but somehow it works on our sewer situation.

How will dropping the lawsuit matter with the sewer project going ahead? How does it hinder it? The idea is to recover $$ for the CSD, which being bankrupt, needs it.

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:""It is not necessary to bury the truth. It is sufficient merely to delay it until nobody cares."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte"

Yep, you got that right. Add in a poodle-on-a-leash water-carrier Press, dedicated market-based cheerleaders, a powerful vested interest in seeing that truth gets buried (Who wan'ts to 'splain that $6 mil SRF check for park amenities? Might ruin one's career) and there you have it.

Notyet 2010 sez:"Well, let the gloating by the sewer obstructionists and all the others begin. Tri-W looks forever dead, Christie (husband and conflict of interest wife)"

I thought Andrew was Sarah's brother?

Fogswamp sez:"In my view, at that point in time they had panicked because their so-called "plan" had fallen apart and they were being pressured by Briggs & Co. From then on they essentially had become puppets' of the State and made a poor choice in their rush to please their new masters."

The Process sure did go wrong early on. That's what remains such a puzzle. There were several critical points at which sane, reasonable with no hidden agendas could have come clean and looked at what went goofy and backed up and fixed this. Instead we had dug in heels, fear, threats,an inexplicable and ferocious stonewalling, abusive state power, more threats. Why? It was not rocket science. This could have been sanely done years ago.

Mark sez:"I guess what he didn’t study he doesn’t know, which doesn’t hurt him while you all pay for it."

That was Andrew Christie's point: Need to get info from actual, real-time, real-life experts in a particular technology. As he pointed out, the RWQCB has little or no experience with STEP, ditto Crollo, MWH & etc. Yet those were the resources cited for information used to make critical decisions on this project.

Toonces: sez" I wonder what the No Sewer people CAN do now to stop this. We can expect to see a boatload of them at the Coastal Commission hearing I'm sure."

Once again, you're blinded by your own mantra which is causing you to confuse MOVE the Sewer people with NO Sewer people. I heard only one NO sewer person at the BOS.(Not counting Mr. Murphy whose comments were so unclear I'm still not sure WHAT he was getting at.) ALL THE REST were SEWER folks, but with collection, treatment and site difference.That's the problem with your mantras-- they're truly blinding.

Toonces also sez:"I'm unclear how Tri-W could be $24 million more than the Giacomazzi site - as the Tri-W project was over bid by 40% according to many reports. The bidding climate is favorable NOW and the Giacomazzi site is said to be $165 million NOW, and we haven't even begun to trash the timeline with the lawsuits yet to jack up the price."

You'd have to ask Mark, which raises an interesting question. If his numbers are all wrong on that, did he get other numbers wrong on the project??


Mark sez:"Why the BOS aren't more sensitive to the overall needs of the community isn't logical, if their mission is to deliver sustainable sevices."

Their mission isn't to deliver sustainable services. Their mission in this case is to get this #*(%&@#$(#$@ thing off their plate as fast as possible. Neil Ferrel (Bay news editor) has long called Los Osos "The County's red-haired step child," and he's right.

Churadogs said...

Alon sez:"We are under a non moratoriumized Level III Severity, some of the things you fear may come true- The clear gold is getting scarce-Consequence of living in tough times.
I do hope your modest equity remains or increases. but if you take action now and perhaps even look towards 50 GPD living, you may not have to feel governmint's rough hand helping you shake out those last few drops."

That's the hard reality facing all of California and the world. Scarcity of water, climate change, tough environmental problems all 'round. In our fair burg, there is still an interesting benefit for those people aready here who are whining about home values: supply and demand. Los Osos is ringed with greenblets, a limited-sized treatment plant and no more water, which means the availability of housing will likely remain what it is for a long time. Which means the value of what's here will respond to limited supply and increasing demand.(Did I mention we live in Paradise and a whole lot of people also like to live in Paradise even though the availability of entrance tickets are usually very, very limited?) Instead of a ranting pity party over some g'umment telling us not to water our lawns, maybe people need to think about this irony: was our present hard environmental/resources reality assisted by people who viewed "conservation, "conserving," "preserving," "tree-hugging," Xeriscaping, best practices and all othher wise-best-use plans as some kind of evil, commie, "tree-hugging" g'umment plot to interfere with America's RIGHT to indulge, like oversized babies, in our resource-profligate ways?

Not2010Yet said...

Inestimable Chura, graceful hostess and commentator on All Things Los Osan: This humble relative LO newcomer responds: Your idea of "wise use" is my loss of liberty. Not my idea of lost liberty, it IS lost liberty. It's OK if you think those who value American liberty are messed up, ignorant in bib overalls cretins, or whatever, so long as you admit that you overly-environmentalist folks see this as a zero sum situation with finite resources, and you think the liberty of others needs to be constrained into a number of daily gallons.

I don't see it that way, there are other sources of water, you just hate them. Conservation (even us flag-waving drooling university-educated cling-to-our-firearms types agree with a low flow toilet, et al), also beneficial re-use, dreaded imported water, de-sal, greywater, BMP's in our ag use....all of these provide more water.

The essence is liberty. Not "damn the fishies and full profligacy ahead" liberty, but hard work on infrastructure and resources and a little conservation on the voluntary side. Obstructing growth and liberty, no thanks.

I just don't see it that way, and I think I/we can enjoy a little indulgence while I am surrounded happily by my own enlightened voluntary conservation measures as to water, energy, food, wastewater, transportation fuels etc.

It's all liberty with me. Not "fire up the cinnabar mine" liberty but some kind of balance.

Words fail me to tell you how much I freaking value it for myself, for others, for the generation(s) coming after me. I've got relatives who can't get housing because of a shortage of affordable things. What do I think green build will do to that? Don't ask. I consider that a really sad situation...conversely right after I voluntarily put in superb top of the line energy saver windows and a 25 SEER air conditioner/heat pump system. 25 SEER efficiency, the "run amps" on the thing is 3.9which is less than some TV's and it'll smoke you or freeze you out at the touch of a button. Do you realize Title 24 calculations (HVAC standards in Calif.), if forced onto my house, might have denied me that system when that system actually got me off natural gas at a huge savings is overall energy use? I can thus heat by zones better than before?

I guess I'm repeating myself, but I could stun you with a tour of what I've done for conservation, much of it with my own hands. I used to hand out CFL bulbs as gifts, but again, sensible voluntary, I didn't COMMAND any of the people I supervised to use them, just touted a voluntary lower electric bill. Anyway, just repeating myself here.

And, as to pity partying, of course I realize that I own a scare commodity such as a Los Osos place, thank you Lord. Of course I know scarity drives values up, or at least drives prices up. I'm just not selfish enough to gloat over it nor want to exclude others, I welcome others and I'd like to see the vacant lots built out, I know darn well from years of hard work that "I've got mine" (a pretty nice Glenn Frey song), I simply realize the bigger and longer picture that having bought after the Tri-W project was planned, permitted and funded and thinking the fight was over, I chronologically constitute a NEWCOMER and without the building that had pre-dated me, I wouldn't have been here EITHER. I'm a relative newbie. Most of you can view me as a newcomer and be correct, though my family is creeping up on a century of land ownership elsewhere in this county. Would you have locked me out? Should my grand-dad have frozen you out as using too much land or resource? Should E.G. Lewis have frozen even my grand-dad out?

Put another way, more people means growth. Get over it and manage it without strangling it or scarcitizing (todays new word) it. Work on the supply side: Reason with others towards ZPG, provide the resources which make our lives enjoyable, provide sensible desirable voluntary conservation measures (LF showerheads, laundry gear, LED light bulbs, fuel efficient cars) and the people will follow along.

Sewertoons said...

Andrew Christie:

"(We) Need to get info from actual, real-time, real-life experts in a particular technology."

From whom? The Orenco SALESMAN?

The County did get operators to comment on their systems, didn't you read the tech report? Those aren't the deal-breaker issues. Getting easements, lack of places to put tanks in some areas and land disturbance volumes are. Someone please pass that on to Andrew.

Watershed Mark said...

Ann wrote: You'd have to ask Mark, which raises an interesting question. If his numbers are all wrong on that, did he get other numbers wrong on the project?

Not sure if you are referring to Hutchinson here.
My numbers for an ECOfluid design for 1MGD tertiary are extremely solid and real time

As far as vacuum collection goes all the county needs to do is pick up the phone and call AIR-VAC to get a real time estimate.

Why is that a bad idea?
A phone call verses the possibility of a lawsuit?
Why is that so difficult to understand?

A vacuum system can be implemented far faster and for less money with a minimum environmental impact while using much less energy to build and operate.

Why is anyone against getting a second opinion for a decision that you will be paying on for 30 years.

A phone call, that's all...

Watershed Mark said...

Remove the tank from the equation with vacuum.

Watershed Mark said...

General Inquiries
200 Tower Drive, Unit A
Oldsmar, FL 34677
(813) 855-6297 phone
(813) 855-9093 fax


One call, that's all...

Watershed Mark said...

Dean Ouellette
(312) 356-4280
deano@airvac.com


Why can't the couty call?

Watershed Mark said...

Why doesn't the county call?

Ron said...

2010 wrote:

"Meantime, Ron has become a self-contained unit: write his own stuff, defend it incessantly, then throw his shoulder out of whack patting himself on the back."

Yep. Pretty much. I'm SO maverick-y.

Here's some more...

Let's see here, the County just spent some three years and $7 million, and concluded that a gravity collection system with a treatment facility east of town by the cemetery is the best solution.

And, as I first reported on 9/20/2005 (a week BEFORE the recall election), the 2004-05 LOCSD had that EXACT project -- with cost estimates down to the hundreds of dollars -- sitting in its filing cabinet.

In that story, I wrote:

"In a nutshell, the CSD's alternative sewer plan keeps the same collection system as the current project (which is, by far, the bulk of the project), but instead of locating the sewer plant in the middle of town at the Tri-W site, the plan moves the facility to one of the two Andre sites east of town, about two miles downwind. The plan calls for a small pumping station at the Tri-W site, and a 14-inch sewer main that carries everything to the Andre2 site, as SewerWatch has termed it."

That project could have easily gone to the Giacomazzi site, as we now know (now that the 1999 - 2005 LOCSD isn't calling the shots), and it would have been EXACTLY what is being proposed today.

In other words, these past three years were a COMPLETE waste of time and money.

ALL of that time and money, and meetings, and analysis, and legal work, and on and on and on, and it all concluded with EXACTLY what I show in my four-year-old story.

FOGSWAMP wrote:

"Score one big one for RON, eh"

Score ANOTHER one, eh?

Ann wrote:

"(Who wan'ts to 'splain that $6 mil SRF check for park amenities? Might ruin one's career)"

Let's make that happen!

Every single person in Los Osos (well, ALMOST every single person in Los Osos) should now contact the BOS and demand that the County Counsel's office get a legal ruling on my OFFICIAL 2005 challenge to that SRF loan.

The $2-plus million dollars worth of park amenities in the Tri-W sewer plant? "Mandated mitigation," or "decorative items?"

I'm right on that, and it WILL save Los Osos a ton of money if it were argued today, AND show that the 45 CDOers are completely innocent.

I wrote all about that here.

Score ANOTHER one... a-boo-yeah!

Mike said...

Guess no one is reading Ron's other blog....

Sewertoons said...

Why thank you wsm for providing me with the last name of the Dean I was trying to recall a year ago!!!! It's "Ouellette!"

Tell me, you DIDN'T make that connection in all this time?????

I got him (Airvac) confused with your outfit. Well! Problem solved, thanks again!!

Sewertoons said...

No one is reading ron's rag as he gets his -- well, the things HE CALLS "facts" so screwed up.

The Lisa Board wanted STEP, for instance. They have always wanted STEP and I'll never forget Julie's lamenting that she even gave up her beloved STEP in favor of gravity to "keep the project going," during the Blakeslee Compromise. Ripley - the guy they dragged in way late in the game was all about STEP.

(It was nice NOT to see him looming at the BOS yesterday. I guess he finally gets it that corpse of STEP has finally vanished in the sunlight - no more removable stakes to resuscitate it for a sequel!

Shark Inlet said...

Ron has a blog?

I thought that he abandoned that months ago because he killed off all readership by insulting those who commented and deleting those he couldn't win arguments with.

Sewertoons said...

That ancient story from over a month ago is still there. But then, beyond congratulating himself, what has he to write about? He is bored by the Lisa Board's shenanigans.

Aaron said...

Now what's the deal with the transportation of sludge? County staff doesn't even know where it's going to be hauled to... the hauling is going to add more traffic to LOVR.

M said...

Sludge. Something we have rarely heard mention of in all this. I can see the price and availability of places to rid ourselves of it becoming a huge issue. I suggest we dump it in the front yard of those commentators that rail against step/steg on this blog constantly. Sludge is obviously of no concern to them.
Sincerely, M

Mike said...

..and M, some of them don't live in Los Osos... we could even arrange a few loads a month to go to AZ...

Sewertoons said...

Sludge was addressed - 3 trips out per week, max and it is going to Cold Canyon. Of course if this project gets delayed and CC fills up - well, the Supes said they had to deal with that problem County-wide anyway.

Aaron said...

But Cold Canyon didn't agree to anything yet, did they? The question was raised if they would actually accept the sludge on Tuesday.

Sewertoons said...

Yes, they take this sort of biosolid that the WWTF will put out. County staff asked directly. The question was only raised because people don't listen.

I like Mike's idea - maybe we could send more by loading it on a train?

Sewertoons said...

Yippee!!!! Less sludge trucks in LO soon as we get the plant!!!

I posted this some time back and I'll re-post the relevvant part:

As there is controversy as to the inspection times and the pumping times, why don't we assume for the sake of this argument that the tanks will need to be only inspected every 5 years, not pumped. Inspection means opening up the tank, exposing the smells contained therein. (Some will need to be pumped though, probably just to be inspected and some will need to be pumped because they are full.) Naturally that will need to be done gradually and not on all in one day. Let's say there will need to be 4500 tanks inspected. 4500 divided by 5 years equals 900 inspected per year. Assume inspections go on 5 working days a week, that gives us 260 days to do all the work. 900 tanks divided by 260 days means about 3.5 will need to be done per day,

3 trucks per week seems the better deal, and they won't even be in town!

FOGSWAMP said...

Sewage sludge is being converted to a renewable fuel in Rialto Ca by EnerTech Enviromental according a pe.com article (June, 2009) titled "Rialto sewage-to-fuel plant ready to start operations".

The California Energy Commission has cetified the process, the only one in the world of commercial size that converts biosolids into clean, renewable coal-like product.

When the plant is at full capacity, their patented SlurryCarb technology, which they compare to a pressure cooker, will convert 833 tons of sewage a day into 180 tons of tiny brown pellets called E-fuel.

The sludge under pressure is heated to 400 degrees, causing the material to carbonize and moisture to be squeezed out.

In the process, pollutants such as sulfur oxides and volatile organic compounds are removed.
The only thing leaving the plant is clean steam, E-Fuel and brine that is piped to a sanitation plant in Orange County.

The E-Fuel product is sold to cement plants in Victorville and Lucerne valley.

The plant is receiving sludge from Rialto, Riverside and San Bernardino, Orange and Los Angeles counties.

The $90 millon dollar plant has attracted sanitation officials from Korea, Japan, U.K. and Abu Dhabi, according to the article.

An inovative way to dispose of sludge. If someone could build a similar plant using solar energy to heat the product it would probably be more efficent.

Mike said...

Sounds terrific...and just what is the fuel source for the pressure cooker...and "when" will the new technology be up to full capacity...?? Any idea how much land is required...??? 833 tons of sludge per day sounds like a very large logistics operation...any idea how the 833 tons per day is delivered...??? What size "sanitation" plant will be required to process some 500 tons of "brine" per day...??? Any coolant (water) required...???

I know this is an emerging technology and it is much more expensive than what you've stated... and it takes a very large population base to support it... I'm not saying it's not a feasible tecnology, but it's going to take more than LO, Morro Bay and SLO to support it... and you really need to figure out how many trucks per day are needed to haul waste in and little pellets out...and if you say pipe line, I suggest you look back at the concerns over pipe sizes in LO...

If you are saying truck the sludge to Rialto, then you need to figure out how much sludge will be generated in LO and then how many trucks per day/week to haul it... and back up storage for when the truck drivers are on strike or the trucks broken down... and when you're all done, calculate the annual O&M budget... which translates to cost in the monthly sewer bill.... Have a nice evening...

Watershed Mark said...

Sorry, I lost his last name/ I got him (Airvac) confused with your outfit Lynette wrote:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 3:13 PM

Subject: Re: Sales Representative Mark Low

Another local resident claims that a Mr. Dean (sorry, lost his last name) represents your company. So I wanted to identify from whom we were to get our information on your technology.

& today Sorry, I lost his last name/ I got him (Airvac) confused with your outfit Lynette wrote:

Why thank you wsm for providing me with the last name of the Dean I was trying to recall a year ago!!!! It's "Ouellette!"

Tell me, you DIDN'T make that connection in all this time?????

I got him (Airvac) confused with your outfit. Well! Problem solved, thanks again!!
1:48 PM, October 01, 2009

This demonstrates clearly that you are both a liar and confused. I’m happy to help you illuminate both of these personal character flaws which will color/shade all your statements past, present and future.

You have written much about “apology” and so seeing none here, you can also be considered a hypocrite.

BTW you never did answer my question about identifying the “other” local resident you invented in order to falsely bolster your ruse, which clearly helps to destroy your credibility.

A confused, lying, hypocritical cowardly person that regularly takes copious notes while at an unofficial golf course afterhours office meeting speaks volumes about who you are and what your agenda really is. As you are both lost and confused, it is no wonder you are supportive of the county’s so very flawed and incomplete process.


All of this comes as no surprise to me at all and makes your handle “Sewertoons” so very appropriate. I shall so very appropriately refer to you as:

Sorry, I lost his last name and got him confused with your outfit Lynette- as you are so very lost and confused and your problems are just beginning.

Watershed Mark said...

M is correct sludge handling has become a very big problem.
Arizona no longer accepts waste sludge from California, that sludge is now transported to south of the border.

Can you say "Superfund Site" International Incident ticking time bomb?

So sludge will be a big part of the flush and forget formula in the LOSTDEP, which has not been addressed yet, no matter what: Sorry, I lost his last name and got him confused with your outfit Lynette attempts to shovel…

Flush and forget, yeah right...

Shark Inlet said...

Mark,

Look up Occam's and Hanlon's razors.

While you are squawking about 'Toons lying and mistreating you, her explanation makes much more sense. That you think she would go out of her way to invent a ruse to rat you out to your boss suggests you view yourself as far more important to her than her treatment of you shows that you are

In short, you're acting like a dick. Cut it out.

Heck, just ask Aaron, Alon, Ann (any of the A's) what they think on this issue if you doubt me.


I welcome your participation here, but sort of wish you were more willing to engage in actual dialog. That most have written you off and yet you continue with the same behavior speaks volumes.


Even so, all the best....

Alon Perlman said...

Nice research Fogswamp, the county checked something similar and Mikes right-Yep Economics of scale. though in a correct furnace (Wait till the APCD checks in) the presure cooker can be fed its own pellets
And no region wide solution. One of the County TAC trips was to sacramento area for a solar shed with drying air fans and a belt process that squeezes out moisture. I-robot looking vehicles Disk it dry after binding polymer added.
Note that some ponds won't work well, cause our mediterranian climate is actually not. the sheds would be affected somewhat same, Mostly not cost affective. and not quite on the giacomazzi footprint the actual final of a year's output looked to be about 2 truckloads Max. Probably located under TAC field trip. And what is the size of population served, Alon?

Good question, I'm research exempt on this one cause I actually rode the Bus.
I'd link to weird Al's Yankovic's cover of Tom Petty=
And another one rides
And another one rides
Another one rides the bus.
Same day as Scott's Valley?
Linde Owen, Weird Al, Bill Garfinkel, Maria Kelly a couple more notables and Tooncers?
Also confusion with Cold Sholder Canyon was due to Confusion at PC earlier, nes pas?(french or some other foreign language)
Separate but relevant
The county sludge ordenance-David Broadwater a dedicated expert- the suggested land applied amount county wide was very small per year (ballpark to a train boxcar, and our sweet smelling Crude is much cleaner, (not much of that rowdy heavy metal) then is land applied in LA, Orange County)
I did note to the sups, Tues- "Cold Canyon Expansion EIR is coming up, can that not be conditioned? you have no leverage outside the county".

Sewertoons said...

Thank you Shark! I appreciate your support and your kindness to wsm.

Hi Alon, nice to see you tonight. No, I missed that trip, but wish I had been able to go.

I thought Al might bean me for disagreeing with him about the gray water thing and the CSD's role in that. Didn't we just hear Dan Berman give a great presentation on First Flush - polluted water from rain runoff going into the bay and carrying all the gunk it lifts up with it - and how even the little soap from washing a car going into the bay has an impact. I don't get why Al doesn't see that the CSD has a responsibility to put information out there on how to do gray water correctly - which we should get in the next joint meeting with LOCAC. I mean we are putting strange chemicals from body care products and drugs into the upper aquifer, plus of course nitrates - it is too polluted to drink - and the CSD is a water purveyor!

Mike said...

Instead of chatting with a meat sales person, I would encourage direct dialog with someone who actually in educated and knowledgeable of water treatment systems... although at this point, the County will not entertain any further correspondence with sales pitches outside the scope of the County project...


Mr. Karel Galland,
P. Eng., President and Founder

ECOfluid Systems Inc.
209-5589 Byrne Road, Burnaby, BC, CANADA V5J 3J1

(604) 662-4544

Watershed Mark said...

MIKE little mouse,

I appreciate your help.

Watershed Mark said...

Steve,

Sorry, I lost his last name and got him confused with your outfit Lynette has NOT explained away her poor behavior.

She is confused by her own admission.
She has not apologized taken responsibility nor has she apologized for her failings.

I'm sorry that you seem so satisfied with confusion and lies being added to a very serious issue.

FOGSWAMP said...

Mike

I was not suggesting Los Osos build such a plant but merely giving food for thought as to what progress the rest of the world has developed to date.

With respect to fuel source for the burners the article didn't say but Alon said what I was thinking, why not use the pellets
or in the desert areas solar?

The article said the plant will be up & running at the end of this year.

The plant is laacated at a railroad siding, so they transport the E-Fuel (coal) by rail. The sludge is brought in by end-dump trucks and dumped right into the underground hopper.

The Cemex cement plant in Victorville and Mitsibushi cement plant in Lucerne Valley are both burning coal which is brought in via rail, so no trucking involved.

The brine seems to be the weak link, as you say. I guess they could address that by boiling the water off and heating the powder
to a safe fertilizer or whatever.

But technology is moving along, just think it took nature millions of years to creat coal, these folk are doing it in just one hour, as Kevin Bolin quoted to The Press-Enterprise.

Regarding the present footprint to handle 833 tons a day, they didn't say but mentioned doubling the plant capacity in three years on 24 acres total.

A good project for Cal Poly engineering to develop for small town plants eh?

How much water are we going to be hauling to the dump using a gravity system?

Watershed Mark said...

How much water are we going to be hauling to the dump using a gravity system?

Good thinking FOGSWAMP.
Great question!

FOGSWAMP said...

Mark

From what I can gather 60% or more of the sewage sludge brine is water. I found that written in a U.S. patent application (No. 5217624)for making cement using brine. Of course that doesn't mean it's true.

I don't know how many tons they are going to be hauling out of Los Osos per week.

At 8.35 lbs per gallon it should be easy to figure.

Shark Inlet said...

Mark,

Confusion does not imply lies. I am troubled you don't understand that.

I also find it interesting that you are critical of 'Toons for not apologizing for poor behavior when you've not ever apologized to me for your poor behavior.

If you can't see it now perhaps you never will.

FOGSWAMP said...

Mark

I am told that the weight of the sludge depends on the type (id any) of dewatering process we use.

Watershed Mark said...

The moisture index is determined by sludge age, thickening within the process (if the design allows for it) and manual dewatering (pressing etc).

Watershed Mark said...

Steve,

I'm glad to see you think sorry, I lost his last name and got him confused with your outfit Lynette is confused.

Churadogs said...

Notyet2010 sez:"It's OK if you think those who value American liberty are messed up, ignorant in bib overalls cretins, or whatever, so long as you admit that you overly-environmentalist folks see this as a zero sum situation with finite resources, and you think the liberty of others needs to be constrained into a number of daily gallons."

What history, not I, shows is "freedom" = the Tragedy of the Commons. Also, if you have no water, for example, the lack thereof, not some g'umment, is what will be limiting your "freedom."

And sez:"Words fail me to tell you how much I freaking value it for myself, for others, for the generation(s) coming after me."

Once again, resource limits or failure to manage resources adequately or even properly will determine the "liberty" available to those who come after us.

Toonces sez:"Getting easements, lack of places to put tanks in some areas and land disturbance volumes are. Someone please pass that on to Andrew."

When Paavo was asked about this, I was absolutely astounded to find out that, clearly, he did absolutely NO research or work on the issue. None, zero. He hemmed and hawed and sounded positively puzzled by the whole concept of a community-wide easement plan, like, Gosh, such a thing's totally unheard of, I have NO IDEA how you'd even go about it, beats me, it's a total mystery, Gosh, I dunno even where to begin. Very funny. Like while thoroughly looking at all alternatives, he coudn't have done so much as a lick of work looking at the issue of a community easement program. I found that very funny for a guy who's able to rattle off enormous amounts of arcane info. Not this though. Zero. So would it be fair to assume that Noel King knew and stated before the TAC was even a gleam in anyone's eye that gravity was in, so why should Paavo bother wasting his time on anything to do with STEP past the "for public consumption" Step dog & pony dumbshow?

And back to Mark's oft repeated question:"As far as vacuum collection goes all the county needs to do is pick up the phone and call AIR-VAC to get a real time estimate"

Did AIR-VAC make a formal presentation/submission to the county at the proper time for co-evaluation with the other systems and if so, is that coevaluation (and reasons for rejection) in the DEIR? Or is a vacuum system simply a technical "device" that whoever gets the final contract for this job can design in as part of the overall plan?

If it's an entirely different system and you or AIR VAC or whoever never bothered to show up at the proper time for a proper presentation, then why not? And if you failed to show up properly, why should the county pick up the phone? That's just too Greta Garborish . . .

Watershed Mark said...

When Paavo was deputy public works ditector in late 2006 he directed all "presentions" to his hand picked no bid consulting engineer.

I'm still working on the billing paper trail...;-)

Watershed Mark said...

It's a long and winding road.. .. yeah, yeah...yeah

Not2010Yet said...

Chura cited me and responded:

What history, not I, shows is "freedom" = the Tragedy of the Commons. Also, if you have no water, for example, the lack thereof, not some g'umment, is what will be limiting your "freedom."

And sez:"Words fail me to tell you how much I freaking value it for myself, for others, for the generation(s) coming after me."

Once again, resource limits or failure to manage resources adequately or even properly will determine the "liberty" available to those who come after us."

And 2010 responds:
Chura, you couldn't have elucidated your thoughts any better than by citing Malthusian and TOTC writings. Now I understand, you ARE a delightful and unabashed utopian socialist liberal, at least as to resource management. I may revoke your crown of inestimableness which I awarded above.

And I, unfortunately, hope to disabuse you of your placing me in the ruined and mismanaged resources category. To wit; I don't plan to overgraze the community lands, I'm the guy giving away CFL bulbs years ago as staff gifts and party favors. I'm the guy touting them endlessly, and LED bulbs ahead of that since LED bulbs with their icky coloration don't use mercury. Other enlightened slobs such as myself are pushing for water conservation projects, giving out showerhead kits, finding trusted inner-city CBO's to distribute water saving toilets in LA, and so forth, all so that VOLUNTARY not gun-in-hand Water Police methods can save water.

Put another way, if you ORDER me to remove my bit of postage stamp lawn, my little Walden where I can hear the blades of grass singing in a shower of needed water, and I wind up with gravel everywhere not just in my voluntarily-xeriscaped back yard, you think you've achieved the same water-saving goal but you've extinguished just a bit more of American liberty. Seriously, do you really think as you appear to me, that build out or more homes in LO will exceed the resources tipping point? That salt water will ruin your aquifer? Have you seen a mobile desalter? Have you stood at an injection well? Is your wellhead experience from monitoring at a gold mine in Colosseum to the shores of the Pacific? Exactly how many gallons have you saved with social controls as opposed to enlightened self-interested measures such as water saving showerheads, retrofitting other things? Do you think you can beat me into conservation better than I can willfully and interestedly save on my own?

Perhaps we see human nature differently. Barack and I certainly do. I was fortunate enough to be dropped by chance into a situation where the tools and opportunity to enact savings were there. So much of it was voluntary, we just don't agree on it. You want to rip out the lawn for rocks, I want to enable the enjoyment of some lawn (arguably one of the biggest wasters of domestic water supply) with an ample supply but some education. Yes, my fine screening method WILL MISS a few of the biggest wasters while your jack-boot rip out the lawns attitude will catch us all, however I humbly and blushingly submit that this is precisely my "liberty" argument.

Not2010Yet said...

2010 drags on....

If I didn't address your Tragedy of The "unregulated" Commons posit sufficiently well, please consider this somewhat repetitive line of argument: this basin is barely adjudicated and has a long way to go, all of it solvable with industry and money. (Industry as in energetic action). I knew Tri-W needed more for re-use, and RO was the obvious answer for it's product water. I just wanted that thing built with the energy money and momentum which we had established. 100% beneficial re-use was just one more treatment process away, with barrier injection wells pioneered in L.A. county. State Health said they' NEVER let 100% reclaimed water be injected, but guess what, they do now. RO after Tri-W would have fixed it ALL. You guys here wouldn't have known WHAT to do with all that water. Sadly, the brainless LOCSD5 was all about tripping it up at all costs for their panoply of pathetic reasons and in the end, in the NAME of community action they DEVASTATED the commons, cost us all dearly in visible (lawsuit losses) and invisible (reduced property values, community exhaustion with fighting the issues) dollars.

As an aside then, I'd submit that THEY in the name of brainless so-called "community action" caused the cataclysm or if you prefer, "tragedy" for our water "commons". Meantime, adoption of my/our goals of water recycling and voluntary and no adoption of social-engineering-jackboot schemes would have preserved the commons, allowed more humans to enjoy this paradise, and vacant lot owners (I'm not one, don't even know one) would put their properties onto the significant tax roll map.

THIS is where you and I sadly differ.

Everybody wins when the pie grows. The commons CAN be expanded with wise self-interested non-government-mandated carrots.

FOGSWAMP said...

Re - easements

Chapter 4 of the Basin Implementation Plan (V111.D.2.c.) suggests the County form Septic Tank Maintenance Districts for "non-sewered" community on-site systems, to be administered by local CSDs', County Water Districts or County Service areas.

It states in part that Maintenance Districts should establish "tank survellance", maintenance and pumping, where appropriate provide repairs to plumbing or leachfields.

So, how did Paavo think our CSD could survey and repair the tanks without an easement plan?

X - UltraOppositionist

franc4 said...

What's with the new "wordsmith" on this blog? B-O-R-I-N-G !!!
not2110yet, how can you write so much yet say so little? Sheeeeesh!
Alon writes alot, but even says something .....sometimes. As dense and uninformed as they are, I have come to enjoy Mike and "toons more than the volumes of dribble that eminate from you. 'ja ever hear of BREVITY??????

Churadogs said...

Notyet2010 sez:"And I, unfortunately, hope to disabuse you of your placing me in the ruined and mismanaged resources category. To wit; I don't plan to overgraze the community lands,"

You and Mike are interesting, so often jumping right into projection. Why do you think I'm placing you in the ruined and mismanaged resources category? Me thinketh you protesteth too much.

What I am saying is, you do not live in a vacuum and what OTHERS do (or do not do) will decide what you can (or cannot) do. If you are Mr. Green Jeans and your neighbors are Screw The Commons, you will be out of water just like they are, despite all your Green Jeaning.

And sez:"Put another way, if you ORDER me to remove my bit of postage stamp lawn, my little Walden where I can hear the blades of grass singing in a shower of needed water, and I wind up with gravel everywhere not just in my voluntarily-xeriscaped back yard, you think you've achieved the same water-saving goal but you've extinguished just a bit more of American liberty."

More projection. I'm not ordering anybody to do anything. I'm merely noting a fact of life: No water means . . . NO WATER. How you got to that point doesn't matter. No is no. So the question is, how do YOU intend to ensure you'll have enough water to ensure your little patch of lawn? Do you privately go around persuading all your neighbors to give you their alottment of water for your lawn? Or maybe persuade them to cut back on their big lawns so you can have a little lawn? And if they say, F--- off! what then? & etc. There's many ways to skin cats here, but the bottom line remains unavoidable: for most of the world, no actually does mean no. (If you are extraordinarily wealthy and can buy your own desal plant to secure water for your little patch of lawn, you will likely be able to do that, unless the g'umment says No, after which you can move to Dubai with the other fabulously wealthy folks and build your desal plant and grow a lawn the size of fifty baseball fields if you wish, until the hungry hoards of poor, lawnless, thirsty mobs overun Dubai, put the desal plant owners to death and tear up the lawn and plant potatoes and corn for food or something.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes mother nature is the one saying No. One thing I kept pointing out when the State Water Project was a'commin' was this: You're not buying state water, you're buying a state water PIPE. If there's water to go in the pipe, great. If there is no water, you'll still be paying for the pipe even without water. Lot of people didn't get it. somehow they kept thinking, If we build it, rain will fall on the Sierras just like always and we'll have plenty of water, forgetting that Mother Nature determines whether or not rain will fall on the Sierras, not the presence of a pipe somewhere.

Watershed Mark said...

Ann brilliantly illuminates the fact:

You're not buying state water, you're buying a state water PIPE. If there's water to go in the pipe, great. If there is no water, you'll still be paying for the pipe even without water. Lot of people didn't get it. somehow they kept thinking, If we build it, rain will fall on the Sierras just like always and we'll have plenty of water, forgetting that Mother Nature determines whether or not rain will fall on the Sierras, not the presence of a pipe somewhere.

Beautifully!

Churadogs said...

Notyet 2010 sez:"You want to rip out the lawn for rocks, I want to enable the enjoyment of some lawn (arguably one of the biggest wasters of domestic water supply) with an ample supply but some education."

Please point out in this blog where in the world I (or anyone) said I (they) wanted to rip out your lawn? I was unaware you even had a lawn, but it's clear you're really, REALLY defensive about that lawn, going on and on justifying and 'splainin how you've xeriscaped your back yard in order to have enough water for your little lawn, how Green you are and conservation-minded & etc. Have people (not I) been picking on you for having a lawn and now you're projecting that criticism onto other people who haven't said a word about your . . . lawn? Creepy.

Then you say"adoption of my/our goals of water recycling and voluntary and no adoption of social-engineering-jackboot schemes would have preserved the commons," and "The commons CAN be expanded with wise self-interested non-government-mandated carrots."

NGO carrots or GO carrots are still "social engineering." And, depending on the carrots, can be seen as "jackbooted," even if done via NOGs since one person's "nudge" is another person's jackboot.

Watershed Mark said...

Sewage contains 10 times the energy needed to treat it,

Not2010Yet said...

Chura said:
Have people (not I) been picking on you for having a lawn and now you're projecting that criticism onto other people who haven't said a word about your . . . lawn? Creepy.

And I say, you must have flunked Psychology 101 if you project onto ME, who is simply selecting one of many common water uses as an exemplar over which we can debate, then pronounce me or the things you project ME projecting as "creepy".

Such insult, and such inability to follow some logical examples are beneath you, Chura.

I hereby temporarily revoke........naw, wait, I was going to be cute but you are down to analyzing somebody you've never met and about whom you couldn't have the slightest idea. Guess I lost interest in your thread. bye.

I'll wait in the wings until there is something posted here which is worthy of spirited debate and response. Until then, "ta ta". It was interesting while it lasted.........

Sewertoons said...

Ann says about Not2010Yet:
"Have people (not I) been picking on you for having a lawn and now you're projecting that criticism onto other people who haven't said a word about your . . . lawn?"

There is someone down by the bay that has actually gone through neighborhoods with a clipboard writing down addresses of people who dared to have - gasp - FLOWERS -in their yard. I know someone that this happened to and who was scolded for it. So it is quite possible that Not2010Yet has encountered this person and also been scolded for "water wasting" due to the little lawn.

franc4 said...

That house with the green cement lawn is kinda nice.

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